9 PM Daily Current Affairs Brief – November 1st, 2021

Dear Friends
We have initiated some changes in the 9 PM Brief and other postings related to current affairs. What we sought to do:

  1. Ensure that all relevant facts, data, and arguments from today’s newspaper are readily available to you.
  2. We have widened the sources to provide you with content that is more than enough and adds value not just for GS but also for essay writing. Hence, the 9 PM brief now covers the following newspapers:
    1. The Hindu  
    2. Indian Express  
    3. Livemint  
    4. Business Standard  
    5. Times of India 
    6. Down To Earth
    7. PIB
  3. We have also introduced the relevance part to every article. This ensures that you know why a particular article is important.
  4. Since these changes are new, so initially the number of articles might increase, but they’ll go down over time.
  5. It is our endeavor to provide you with the best content and your feedback is essential for the same. We will be anticipating your feedback and ensure the blog serves as an optimal medium of learning for all the aspirants.
  • For previous editions of 9 PM BriefClick Here
  • For individual articles of 9 PM BriefClick Here

Mains Oriented Articles 

GS Paper 1

GS Paper 2

GS Paper 3

Prelims Oriented Articles (Factly)

Mains Oriented Articles

GS Paper 1

CoP26: Women need more space at the climate table

Source: This post is based on the article “CoP26: Women need more space at the climate table” published in Down To Earth on 30th October 2021.

Syllabus: GS1 – Women issues.

Relevance: To understand the link b/w climate change and its impact on women.

Synopsis: Women are affected more by the climate change. Yet, mainstreaming of women gender in key roles and processes has seen inadequate progress. Women need to have more say in global climate action.


Climate change affects women and girls disproportionately, as they are more vulnerable to threats posed by the crisis. Women and girls in all the regional and occupational diversity, experience its impacts differently.

This should translate to women having a larger say in advancing gender-responsive climate action, however the case is not so.

How are women more vulnerable to climate change?

Impoverished women gather fuel, water and food, and hence, often suffer the most when shortages are caused or made worse by the climate crisis.

No land rights: They don’t usually have land rights, so they are also more likely to be displaced in climate disasters. UN report stated that nearly 80% of people displaced by climate change are women.

Gender-based violence: The climate crisis exacerbates gender-based violence against women. Climate change increases women and girls’ risk for marital violence, sexual exploitation and early and forced marriage.

They lack representation in influencing decision-making at regional and global level.

What are the events voicing women participation at UNFCCC?

CoP-7 in 2001 stressed on the need need for women’s equal participation and representation in bodies established under the UNFCCC or Kyoto Protocol. It was reiterated in CoP16 in 2010.

At CoP-20 in 2014, parties were formally invited to enhance participation of women in the Convention process. They established the first Lima Work Programme on Gender (LWPG).

The first gender action plan (GAP) under the UNFCCC was established at CoP23.

At CoP25, parties agreed for a five-year enhanced ‘LWPG’ and ‘GAP’.

What is the progress seen in women representation?

A marginal increase: According to UNFCC, since 2013, female representation has increased in eight bodies, most significantly the adaptation committee.

IUCN 2015 data showed that only 12% of national environmental ministries were led by women. In 2020, the figure was 15%.

Inadequate Progress: Effective gender mainstreaming is not seen in global bodies, and in most national climate policy efforts. Members on key panels and decision-making groups are mostly men.

GS Paper 2

Future Imperfect: On unemployment

Source: This post is based on the article “Future Imperfect” published in Indian Express on 1st November 2021.

Syllabus: GS2- Government Policies and Interventions for Development in various sectors

Relevance: Rising unemployment among youth

Synopsis: There is a huge pool of unemployed university graduates with unfulfilled aspirations. The article highlights the present situation and the steps that can be taken to address this issue.


There has been an increase in number of higher education institutions and rates of enrollment of students from diverse backgrounds. But a scarcity of govt and pvt sector jobs is ultimately leading to large scale unemployment amongst these students.

This group of dissatisfied, disgruntled youth can lead to disastrous consequences for our society.

What has led to an increase in the enrollment?

Reservation: The reservation for backward classes(OBCs and EWS) has increased the enrollment of students from diverse socio-economic backgrounds.

Number of Higher education institutions: The massive increase in the number of higher education institutions has led to an enlargement of the number of available seats. There are more than 45,000 universities and colleges in the country.

The Gross Enrollment Ratio for higher education, which is the percentage of the population between the ages of 18-23 who are enrolled, is now 27 per cent.

What are the associated concerns?

Huge mismatch between enrollment and jobs availability: The increase in enrollment has not been matched by a concomitant increase in jobs.

Government jobs: Employment opportunities in the government have not increased proportionately and have decreased with increased contractualisation.

Private sector: Though the jobs have increased with economic growth, most of the jobs are contractual.

Gig workers: The majority of the jobs are created in the unattractive sector like call centers and delivery agents for e-commerce or fast food companies.

What are the existing challenges with vocational institutions?

Poor quality of vocational institutions: They are poorly maintained and lack resources, both physical and human. The curriculum remains outdated and has not been upgraded to include some of the newer skills like maintaining networking and telecom equipment.

Huge competition for admission: it is harder to get admission into these institutions compared to the local government colleges. Manufacturing units prefer hiring them for blue-collar jobs since they at least have a modicum of training.

What is the way forward?

First, there is need of concurrent increase in the number of high-quality vocational institutions. There are around 15,000 Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs) in the country currently.

Second, upgrading the existing ITIs with high-quality infrastructure and a new curriculum.

Third, Industries should be aligned to bring in more funding (via the CSR route) to the institutions.

Indian students are interesting keen on overseas opportunities

Source: This post is based on the article “Indian students are interesting keen on overseas opportunities” published in Livemint on 1st November 2021.

Syllabus: GS 2 Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Education.

Relevance: Understanding all the dimensions related to studying abroad.

Synopsis: Indian students use many methods to obtain visas to study abroad.


With the international borders began opening up, Indian students are now preparing themselves to get their visas approved for study in foreign countries.

How do Indian students use various opportunities to study abroad?

Apart from Conventional routes, Indians also use invest-and-immigrate options for their education. For example,

America EB-5 Immigrant Investor Programme: It provides a green card to investors and their immediate family members if they invest $500,00 in a US project that creates 10 American jobs.

Portugal Golden Visa Programme: It provides permanent European residency upon investing a minimum of €280,00.

Read more: Brain drain in the health sector – Explained, Pointwise
Why studying abroad is an attractive option for Indian students?

1. Unmatched Infrastructure, 2. The diverse international community, 3. The flexibility of the system (to switch majors and graduate on time), 4. Foreign university curriculum that opens the doors to research and helps to gain practical experience, 5. Build professional networks and a chance to settle abroad.

What are the hurdles in studying abroad?

-Most of the countries are opting for the conventional routes like US F1 visas for students, H1B visas for works.

-Students depend on their universities or employers for sponsoring their visas.

-Residency rights of students are closely tied to the immigration law of the respective country.

Read moreVisa crackdown: On Indian students’ arrest

In the wake of China-US rivalry, India needs to reboot its ASEAN strategy

Source: This post is based on the article ” In the wake of China-US rivalry, India needs to reboot its ASEAN strategy” published in the Indian Express on 1st November 2021.

Syllabus: GS2 Bilateral, Regional and Global Groupings and Agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests.

Relevance: Understanding India-ASEAN relations.

Synopsis: India needs a comprehensive effort to promote a better India-ASEAN relations.


Indian PM in the recent ASEAN Summit extended his support for the centrality of ASEAN and also to a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific.

Read morePrime Minister co-chairs the 18th India-ASEAN Summit
India and ASEAN relations
Read hereIndia-ASEAN
What are the challenges in India ASEAN relations?

1. Caught between the rivalry of China and the USA in the Indo-Pacific. 2. ASEAN nations are worried about India joining QUAD as it impacts ASEAN centrality. 3. India’s withdrawal from RCEP and 4. India’s Atmanirbhar Bharat initiative is seen as economic inwardness by ASEAN countries, instead of open trade.

ASEAN-India relations are an important pillar of Indo-Pacific. Thus, India should need to build its narrative strongly and convey the same to the members of ASEAN.

Getting nutrition back on the school high table

Source: This post is based on the article “Getting nutrition back on the school high table” published in The Hindu on 1st November 2021.

Syllabus: GS2 Issues Relating to Development and Management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health.

Relevance: Understanding the need for nutritional requirements for the growth of children.

Synopsis: Covid-19 or otherwise, there is a need to ensure children are nurtured or nourished properly.


Covid has heightened the risk of increasing malnutrition. Even before it, India was facing significant nutritional challenges. So, there is an urgent need to immediately tackle and address the nutritional requirements of children and adolescents in schools.

What is India’s triple burden of nutrition in schools?

Indian school faces a combination of problems like 1. Undernutrition, 2. Overweight/ obesity, 3. Micronutrients deficiency such as iron, zinc, calcium and several vitamins.

Read more: India’s malnutrition challenge
What are the Social factors impacting nutrition?

living environment under which children are living.

lack of diet diversity are leading to imbalanced micronutrient intake or consumption of high carbohydrate and high sugar foods.

These endanger the child’s health by compromising their immunity.

What is the government’s role to tackle the nutritional problems?

The government introduced PM Poshan Shakti Nirman Yojana to tackle the nutritional challenges.

Read herePOSHAN 2.0 and tackling malnutrition in India
What India should further do to tackle nutritional challenges in schools?

India should look beyond minimum calorie requirements and ensure children consume a balanced diet in schools.

1. The diet should consist of fresh fruits, cooked meat/poultry and sea fish sufficient to meet daily proteins and fats requirements. 2. The diet should have adequate micronutrients as they are essential for the production of enzymes, hormones and other substances for good immune function, healthy growth and development.

GS Paper 3

Vote for continuity

Source: This post is based on the article “Vote for continuity” published in Business Standard on 1st November 2021.

Syllabus: GS3– Roles and responsibilities of RBI

Relevance: RBI’s response to Pandemic

Synopsis: RBI should focus more on inflation management.


The Union government has given a three-year extension to Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor Shaktikanta Das. Many steps have been taken by RBI to tackle the effect of the Pandemic, during his tenure.

How was the central bank’s response to the pandemic?

Ensured adequate liquidity in the economy: It reduced interest rates and flooded the system with liquidity to avoid any friction in financial markets. For instance, RBI introduced targeted repo operations.

Ensured the proper functioning of financial markets: unlike several other large central banks, it did well to not directly intervene in the corporate debt market.

Eased regulations for common man: RBI extended forbearance at a critical time.

Accumulation of Forex reserves to strengthen India’s external sector: India’s reserves have gone up by over $160 billion since April 2020. The RBI’s intervention is necessary to avoid undue appreciation in the rupee, which can not only affect India’s external competitiveness but also create financial stability risks.

What are the problems faced by RBI during the pandemic?

One area where the RBI has faced problems during the pandemic period is inflation management. The average inflation rate in the last fiscal year was above the tolerance band and risks continue to persist.

Should RBI follow IMF’s Suggestion?

The latest India report of the International Monetary Fund suggests that a further accumulation of reserves is not advisable and intervention should be limited to addressing crisis conditions.

However, RBI may not change its position on foreign exchange management. Lower than desired intervention in the aftermath of the global financial crisis, for instance, led to a near currency crisis in 2013.

What is the way forward?

RBI should ensure timely and non-disruptive unwinding of excessive policy accommodation along with bringing the inflation rate close to the 4% target on a durable basis.

This will also require coordination between the RBI and the government because of potential fiscal costs.

How to decarbonize: On decarbonization

Source: This post is based on the article “How to decarbonize” published in Business Standard on 1st November 2021.

Syllabus: GS3– issues related to Energy sector

Relevance: Decarbonization and decentralized planning

Synopsis: Central planning in decarbonization will impose excessive costs upon society.


Fossil fuels are so deeply intermixed into the fabric of the modern economy that decarbonization has far-reaching impacts all across society.

In this context, a large-scale change in the mechanisms of production and consumption of energy is required.

This makes Governments an essential entity to the process of decarbonization. State coercion is required in order to reshape the incentives of the polluter.

However, the change will be achieved at the lowest cost to society if it is not centrally planned.

Why the state’s role is essential?

Each person that emits CO2 is imposing a negative externality upon every other person in the world. This is a market failure. If people are left to themselves, there will be excessive CO2 in the air.

Hence, the state’s role is essential in addressing this market failure.

What are the drawbacks of a centrally planned decarbonization process?

India has envisaged many initiatives towards decarbonization such as National Solar Mission, the National Hydrogen Mission, the National Electric Mobility Mission Plan, and others.

All the centrally planned programs are accompanied by physical targets established by the Union government, and then command-and-control systems which try to force implementation of the target. The central control increases the cost of decarbonization.

It has to be understood that, owners of energy-intensive factories will put their facilities in locations where energy is cheap. Hence, increasing costs due to centralized planning will drive companies out of India.

In addition, the central planners are not maximizing the objectives of the people, and are held back by low state capacity.

Why locally suitable mechanisms for decarbonization are best suited for India?

At every location in India, there are different efficient mechanisms for decarbonization. As an example, near Mumbai, the step function into the Western Ghats creates natural opportunities for energy storage by pumping water into natural and artificial reservoirs.

In Rajasthan, there is a lot of sunlight. All along the border with Nepal and Bhutan, there are natural opportunities to buy hydel power.

Hydrogen can be made, using solar electricity in the Middle East, and shipped to locations all along the Indian coast.

Why carbon tax is considered the right mechanism to induce local innovative thinking towards decarbonisation?

Carbon tax would drive up the price of fossil fuels. Once this is done, at every location, self-interested private people would look for the most efficient solutions.

This process of discovery will deliver the required decarbonization at the lowest cost to society.

What are the strengths in achieving decarbonization through the price system, backed by a carbon tax?

Firstly, it induces responses on supply as the economics of renewables producers would improve when compared with users of fossil fuels.

Secondly, it induces responses on demand e.g., data centres would move out of India into countries with a low cost of capital and high renewable energy opportunities.

Thirdly, it is a decentralised process i.e., the thinking and problem-solving at each location of the country would be done reflecting local conditions.

Fourthly, it involves constant adaptation based on technical change since both supply and demand will respond to the changing global technological frontier.

Finally, it avoids the difficulties of the state i.e., most of the work is done by private people, who are self-interested, as opposed to the state which has its own objectives and has low capabilities.

What is the way forward?

First, the job of the state is to establish present and future values of the carbon tax, and should decentralise decarbonisation process.

Second, state should review tax rates every five years, to ensure that the overall CO2 emissions are on the desired path.

Our pandemic failures should inform climate-response talks

Source: This post is based on the article “Our pandemic failures should inform climate-response talks” published in Livemint on 1st November 2021.

Syllabus: GS3- Conservation, Environmental Pollution and Degradation

Relevance: Lessons to be learnt from pandemic to combat climate change

Synopsis: The fight against COVID and climate change has suffered from misinformation. Both require strong measures and popular support.


COVID-19 has affected the entire planet and many lives, global economies and hit the poorest disproportionately hard. Like the pandemic, limiting climate change will test governments’ ability to adapt and cooperate across borders.

How COVID has been a series of failures?

Failure of the Governments: Govts should have been better prepared to use their resources. The least wealthy 52 countries have 20% of the global population but just 4% of vaccinations. The Covax vaccine initiative has also fallen short of its promises.

Data deficiencies: Poor record-keeping and testing mean that in much of the developing world there is no data about how many people died of COVID.

What do these failures have to do with climate?

Increasing risk of pandemic: factors such as climate change, like deforestation raise the risk of pandemics.

The consequences of global warming: altered weather patterns and habitats, create opportunities for pathogens to find new hosts and for diseases to leap from animals to humans.

What are the lessons leaders and officials meeting in Glasgow should keep in mind?

Underplaying the problem and delaying action: In January 2020, as the first cases of covid were detected in the US, President declared coronavirus “very much under control.” British Prime Minister spoke of business as usual, even as Italy was already in crisis. This should not be repeated.

Multilateralism is the key to success: The limited role of the World Health Organization, and the unwillingness of states to share resources and information cannot be repeated with global warming. When it comes to organizing a global response to the pandemic, WHO should take the lead.

Private enterprise is vital to the solution: Investing in capacity to help countries adapt quickly. Governments need to step up, set climate targets, invest, and enable regulators to get tough on disclosure and green-washing.

What is the way forward?

First, talks in Glasgow must narrow the gap between countries’ commitments and deliver on promises of financial support for developing nations. The already-promised annual $100 billion should have been reached in 2020.

Second, ensuring the burden of climate responses is spread and also capitalize on signs that frequent extreme weather is moving public opinion from alarm to action.

The Court’s order on Pegasus still falls short

Source: This post is based on the article “The Court’s order on Pegasus still falls short” published in The Hindu on 1st Nov 2021.

Syllabus: GS3 – Cyber Security, challenges to internal security

Relevance: Pegasus spyware case

Synopsis: Instead of constituting a committee to inquire into the allegations made in the Pegasus case, SC could have made use of other prerogative powers available to it.


On October 27, the Supreme Court of India appointed an independent committee to inquire into the Pegasus case. But the court’s order still falls short of delivering justice.

Must Read: SC judgement on Pegasus spyware case – Explained, pointwise
What should have the SC be done instead?

In place of constituting a committee, SC could have taken the following steps:

– Frame a set of questions: the Court could have framed a set of specific questions demanding answers from the state. These might have included the following: did the Government purchase Pegasus? Did it use the software on the phones of Indian citizens? If so, was such use backed by law? What were the reasons for which the use was authorised?

– Issuing of the writ: If answers to these questions were still not forthcoming, the Court could have drawn what is known as an “adverse inference”. A party that fails to answer questions put to it will only risk the Court drawing a conclusion of fact against it. The Court then can grant any number of remedies: it can make a declaration that the Government was wrong, and it can issue a writ compelling the Government to disclose all materials relevant to the purchase and use of Pegasus.

What is the way forward?

The cases are next scheduled to be listed in 8 weeks’ time. If SC finds that the Government has been delaying or obstructing the committee, it must proceed to issue a mandatory order to the state compelling it to perform its constitutional duties.

Must Read: Pegasus spyware case – Explained, pointwise

COP26, Covid & our species

Source: This post is based on the article “COP26, Covid & our species” published in Business Standard on 1st Nov 2021.

Syllabus: GS3 – Conservation, Environmental Pollution, and Degradation, Environmental Impact Assessment.

Relevance: Climate change and increased incidence of zoonotic diseases

Synopsis: With a worsening trajectory of climate change parameters across the world, an increased incidence of zoonotic diseases is also being witnessed.

What are the key drivers of the increased incidence of zoonotic viruses?

Viruses account for almost 50% of new and emerging diseases. Since the mid-20th century, about 75% of all emerging viruses are zoonotic, they spill over into humans from wild animals.

The key drivers of this process are deforestation and climate change.

The 20th century had three pandemics (Influenza 1918, 1957, and 1968) but the 21st century has already experienced two (Swine Flu 2009 and Covid-19) with a few narrow misses like SARS, Ebola, and Zika.
Why zoonotic disease incidence is increasing?

Though humans comprise only 0.01% of the Earth’s biomass, we have changed this planet so much that we are in Anthropocene or the Age of Man since the mid-20th century.

Increasing livestock population, with genetic links to wild animals and proximity to humans, acts as a natural intermediary for the spillovers. South and Southeast Asia with high densities of human and livestock populations are particularly at risk.

Deforestation brings wild animals near both livestock and humans, increasing the risk. For example, Malaysia cleared about 5 million hectares of primary forests between 1983 and 2003 for industrial logging, palm oil plantations, etc.

Redistribution of species: Climate change is leading to increased global expansion and redistribution of the Aedes mosquito, which is the vector for several known human diseases such as yellow fever, dengue, chikungunya, rift valley fever, Zika, and lymphatic filariasis.

A Climate Power

Source: This post is based on the article “A Climate Power” published in “Times of India” on 31st October 2021.

Syllabus: GS3 – Indigenization of technology and developing new technology.

Relevance: To understand the need for a tech-driven climate solution.

Synopsis: There are multiple challenges in achieving a global consensus on climate goals. What are the solutions for India?


Achieving climate goals require clean technology. However, India, a major economy that hopes to grow fast cannot simply just wait for tech transfers from the West.

What are the challenges in achieving climate goals?


Consensus building– Nations don’t agree even on the most important baselines like net-zero emissions or the when and how much of green financing is to be done. For example, the UK’s proposal on phasing out coal in a short time looks to be un-doable for large coal-dependent economies like China and India.

Clean technology– The low-income group countries are unable to invest in clean technology research. This is worsened by the apathy of higher-income groups towards the transfer of technology.


– Economy vs Ecology-For example, India has a large number of people dependent on the coal economy for jobs and 70% dependence on energy needs.

– Political economy- Industries like thermal power, cement, iron, and steel are major economic players in some states. The long transition from a coal economy can witness stiff regional political pushbacks.

– Standard of living– With higher incomes, people will buy more air-conditioners and cars in India. All this is potentially climate negative.

What steps should be taken by India?

Green hydrogen- A clean fuel that’s well within India’s technological capacity to produce in very large quantities, must be executed fast.

Separate fund and fiscal incentives- GoI should create a separate fund for incubating clean tech, and incentivise private players further via huge tax breaks.

The fund should be managed by professionals from industry and academia, free of bureaucratic interference.

Biden’s billionaire levies must not cue bad ideas

Source: This post is based on the article “Biden’s billionaire levies must not cue bad ideas” published in Livemint on 1st November 2021.

Syllabus: GS3 – Planning, Mobilization of Resources, Growth

Relevance: To understand wealth inequality in the world and challenges in taxing them.

Synopsis: The US plan to impose a tax on the super-rich, will not work in India.


US President Joe Biden has promised to finance the social-spending plan by taxing only the super-rich.

About the wealth inequality

Globally, wealth inequality is getting sharper. Easy-money policies and asset inflation have sharpened the divergence. For example, the number of billionaires in the US has risen from 614 to 745 since the Covid Pandemic. So, many economists like Thomas Piketty called for imposing wealth taxes on the Super rich.

Who are Super rich and How the US plans to tax them?

Super rich include persons having above $1 billion in wealth or earning $100 million as income for three years at a trot. The US tries to tax them in 2 ways. 1. Impose a levy on marked-to-market ‘capital gains’ made by them on their investment portfolios, even if nothing is traded or liquidated. 2. Imposing an inheritance tax.

Must read: Oxfam Report Findings – Rising inequality in India
Why does taxing the super-rich will not work in India?
  1. Inheritance tax will tax the future heirs, not the past inheritors. This is against inter-generational equity.
  2. Further, wealthy families might emigrate or stash money offshore and decrease tax compliance in the economy.
  3. Unlike the US, few of our wealthiest made their fortunes themselves. So, a levy on marked-to-market ‘capital gains’ will lead to a sudden flight of capital to tax heavens.
Must Read: Pandora Papers and Illegal offshore investments from India – Explained, pointwise

Why India needs a Ministry of Energy

Source: This post is based on the article “Why India needs a Ministry of Energy” published in Indian Express on 1st November 2021.

Syllabus: GS3 – Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railways, etc.

Relevance: To understand the need for a dedicated energy ministry.

Synopsis: The current energy value chain works in silos. What India needs is an integrated point of reference.


The recent coal shortage shows flaws in the entire energy production chain. There is no public body at the government level with executive oversight, responsibility, and accountability for the entire energy value chain.

What are the challenges leading to the energy crisis?

Structural issues: The cycle of blame game-

-The problem of the failure of ‘Coal India’ in managing the production process has roots in power generation companies, which in turn is related to the DISCOMs inability to pay back the dues.

-DISCOMs ultimately blame the politics for compelling them to sell electricity to residential and agricultural sector consumers at subsidized tariffs, whereby the cost of energy is not recovered.

There is no energy strategy with the executive authority. NITI Aayog and planning commissions policies are mere recommendations without executive force.

What is the solution?

The government should pass an Act granting energy the ‘constitutional sanctity’ and frame for the formulation and execution of an integrated energy policy.

Laying out measurable metrics for monitoring the progress towards the achievement of energy independence, security, efficiency, and “green” energy.

Single ministry -‘Ministry of Energy’ should be created to oversee the currently siloed verticals of the ministries of petroleum, coal, renewables, and power.

– As it could be politically challenging, therefore an executive ‘department’ can be created under PMO. The objective would be to identify and handle all of the issues that currently challenge the value chain.

What are the potential benefits?

This would increase investments in the energy sector if the current fragmented and opaque regulatory, fiscal, and commercial systems and processes were replaced by a transparent and single-point executive decision-making body for energy.

Prelims Oriented Articles (Factly)

Ahead of COP26, Indian site highlights emissions gap

Source: This post is based on the article “Ahead of COP26, Indian site highlights emissions gap” published in The Hindu on 1st Nov 2021.

What is the news?

A day ahead of the commencement of the 26th United Nations Conference of Parties (COP) in Glasgow, Scotland, India has officially endorsed a website – Climate Equity Monitor.

The website was conceptualised and developed by the Climate Change Group at the M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF), Chennai, and the Natural Sciences and Engineering department at the National Institute of Advanced Studies (NIAS) Bengaluru, with other independent researchers.

What is the Climate Equity Monitor?

It is a database that aims to highlight the gap between the emissions of developed and developing countries.

Countries including the United States, Canada, Australia and in Western Europe are shown as having a net carbon debt while developing countries, including India and China, have net credit.

The database lists the following:

Historical emissions

The amount of CO2 that can be emitted given the aim of keeping it below 2oC and 1.5oC, each country’s corresponding fair share

The promises of each country to reduce emissions and the existing trajectory of their emissions.

The key fact that the database highlights is that it is only fair that developed countries must commit to steeper targets towards curbing emissions than developing countries.

It also highlights that India is the 3rd largest emitter of carbon emissions annually but the 6th largest when historical emissions are considered, and when accounting for the size of its population it is among the lowest per capita emitters.

What is the purpose behind the website?

It is aimed at monitoring the performance of Annex-I Parties under the UNFCCC (developed countries) based on equity and the principle of CBDR-RC (Common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities). Existing “tracking” websites on climate policies are based in the global North and routinely do not address the crucial aspects of equity and differentiation.

The performance and policies of the Non Annex-I Parties (developing countries) will also be provided for comparison.

Navy takes delivery of warship

What is the news?

The first ship ‘Visakhapatnam’, of the four Project-15B ships, was delivered to the Navy recently. It is a state-of-the-art stealth-guided missile destroyer, being built at the Mazgaon Docks Limited (MDL).

More about the “Visakhapatnam” ship

Approx. 75% of the project is indigenous including weapons systems like medium-range SAMs, torpedo tube launchers, etc.

The design of the ships has been developed in-house by the Directorate of Naval Design. These ships are equipped with BrahMos supersonic cruise missiles and long-range Surface-to-Air missiles (SAM).

What is Project 15B and its significance?

The project 15B ships are a follow-on of the Kolkata class (Project 15A) destroyers (INS Kolkata, INS Kochi, and INS Chennai).

The four ships are:

– Visakhapatnam

– Mormugao

– Imphal

– Surat.

These ships feature enhanced stealth features over the earlier class which make it difficult to detect and also feature significant advances in automation and networking.

These ships are propelled by four gas turbines in Combined Gas and Gas (COGAG) configuration.


The guided-missile Destroyers are deployed for various responsibilities like escort duties with the Carrier Battle Group to protect the Naval fleet against any air, surface, and underwater threats.

These modern warships shall also give an extended Indo-Pacific capability to the Indian Navy against an ever-growing fleet of Chinese submarines.

Source: This post is based on the article “Navy takes delivery of warship” published in The Hindu on 1st November 2021.

PM addresses the Nation on Rashtriya Ekta Diwas

What is the News?

The Prime Minister has addressed the nation on the occasion of National Unity Day also known as Rashtriya Ekta Diwas. He also paid rich tribute to Sardar Patel who dedicate his life to the ideal of ‘Ek Bharat Shreshth Bharat’.

What is National Unity Day?

National Unity Day is celebrated every year on 31st October to commemorate the birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.

The day was celebrated for the first time in 2014.

In 2018, the Government unveiled the ‘Statue of Unity’ in Gujarat in honor of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. It is the tallest statue in the world. In 2020, the Statue of Unity has also been included in the 8 wonders of Shanghai Cooperation Organization(SCO).

Who is Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel?

Sardar Vallabhai Patel was the first Home Minister and Deputy Prime Minister of India. 

He is known as the “Iron Man of India” for playing an important role in the unification and integration of Indian princely states into the Indian Union.

He is also remembered as the “patron saint of India’s civil servants” for having established the modern All India Services system. 

Click Here to Read more about Sardar Patel

What is Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat Initiative?

“Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat” initiative was announced by the Prime Minister in 2015.

Aim: To enhance interaction & promote mutual understanding between people of different states/UTs through the concept of state/UT pairing.

For example, Andhra Pradesh is paired with Punjab. During this period, people from Punjab would attempt to learn keywords in Telugu and Andhra would hold food festivals offering Punjabi dishes among others.

Source: This post is based on the article PM addresses the Nation on Rashtriya Ekta Diwaspublished in “PIB” on 31st October 2021.

Union Minister visits Indian Subcontinent’s Pioneer Research Vessel Ship “Sagar Nidhi” and interacts with top Scientists on the deck

What is the News?

The Union Minister visited the Indian Subcontinent’s Pioneer Research Vessel, Ship “SagarNidhi” and interacted with the Scientists on the deck.

What is Sagar Nidhi?

Oceanographic Research Vessel(ORV) Sagar Nidhi is an ice-strengthened multidisciplinary vessel operated by the National Institute of Ocean Technology(NIOT).

Note: An ice-strengthened ship is a ship made of steel. These ships are made to get through the ice in Antarctica and the Arctic.

Purpose: 1. Exploring the ocean resources, 2. Participation in search and rescue operations and in implementation of Deep Ocean Mission, 3. Carrying out geoscientific, meteorological, and oceanographic research.

Significance: First Indian flagged research ship that reached the Antarctic waters.

What is a Research Vessel?

Research Vessel (Ships) is an important tool for ocean research and the development of ocean technology. 

The Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) has at present has 6 ships namely Sagar Nidhi, Sagar Manjusha, Sagar Kanya, Sagar Sampada, Sagar Tara, and Sagar Anveshika.

Source: This post is based on the article Union Minister visits Indian Subcontinent’s Pioneer Research Vessel Ship “Sagar Nidhi” and interacts with top Scientists on the deckpublished in PIB on 31st October 2021.

To Promote Clean Energy Consumption, Power Ministry proposes Amendment to Energy Conservation Act, 2001

What is the News?

The Ministry of Power has proposed amendments to the Energy Conservation Act, 2001 with an aim to achieve higher levels of penetration of Renewable energy. 

What are the amendments proposed to the Energy Conservation Act, 2001?

Define the minimum share of renewable energy in the overall consumption by the industrial units or any establishment.

Provision to incentivise efforts on using clean energy sources by means of a carbon saving certificate.

To strengthen the institutions originally envisaged under the Act

To expand the scope of the Act to include larger Residential buildings with an aim to promote Sustainable Habitat.

What is the significance of these proposed amendments?

India has committed to an ambitious Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) of reducing emission intensity by 33-35% in 2030 against the levels of 2005. 

India also aims to achieve more than 40% cumulative electric power installed capacity from non-fossil fuel energy resources by 2030.

To achieve these goals, the proposed amendments would help by facilitating the development of the carbon market in India, increasing private sector involvement in climate actions and promoting green Hydrogen as an alternative to the existing fossil fuels.

Source: This post is based on the article To Promote Clean Energy Consumption, Power Ministry proposes Amendment to Energy Conservation Act, 2001published in PIB on 31st October 2021.

New Zealand passes climate change disclosure laws for financial firms in world first

What is the News?

New Zealand Parliament has passed the Financial Sector (Climate-related Disclosures and Other Matters) Amendment Bill. With this, New Zealand has become the first country in the world to have a climate-related disclosure law in place.

What is the purpose of the Bill?

The bill requires banks, insurers, firms and investment managers to report the impacts of climate change on their business.

The firms will

-assess their own investments and also evaluate the companies they are lending money to in terms of their environmental impact.

-will disclose how they would manage climate-related risks and opportunities.

These disclosures will be based on standards from New Zealand’s independent accounting body, the External Reporting Board (XRB).

These disclosures will become mandatory from 2023.

Who all will be covered under the bill?

About 200 of the largest financial firms in New Zealand, including banks with total assets of more than NZ$1 billion, large insurers and equity and debt issuers listed on the country’s stock exchange will have to make disclosures.

Several foreign firms that meet the NZ$1 billion thresholds will also come under the legislation.

Source: This post is based on the articleNew Zealand passes climate change disclosure laws for financial firms in world firstpublished in Indian Express on 28th October 2021.

SHG women on the path of becoming Lakhpatis

What is the News?

The Ministry of Rural Development launched the Lakhpati SHG women Initiative.

What is the aim of Lakhpati SHG women initiative?

The initiative aims to enable rural Self Help Group (SHGs) women to earn at least Rs.1 lakh per annum.

This will be achieved by focusing on diversifying livelihood activities at the household level ranging from Agriculture and allied, Livestock, NTFP (Non-timber Forest Products) and other interventions. 

Target: To provide livelihood support to 25 million rural SHG women in the next 2 years.

Read more: [Yojana September Summary] SHG-led Women Empowerment – Explained, pointwise
Other Schemes Mentioned in the Article

Source: This post is based on the articleSHG women on the path of becoming Lakhpatispublished in PIB on 28th October 2021.

Joint Statement on Italy-India Strategic Partnership in Energy Transition

What is the News?

The President of Italy and Prime Minister of India had a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the G20 Leaders’ Summit hosted by Italy in Rome.

What are the key highlights of the meeting?

Firstly, acknowledged significant progress in bilateral relations since the adoption of the Action Plan for an enhanced Partnership between India and Italy (2020 –2024) in 2020.

Secondly, in order to promote their partnership in energy transition, Italy and India will:

-Task the “Joint Working Group” established by the MoU on Cooperation in the field of Energy, signed in 2017. This is to explore cooperation in areas such as Smart Cities; mobility; smart-grids, electricity distribution and storage solutions.

-Initiate a dialogue to support the development and deployment of green hydrogen and related technologies in India.

-Consider working together to support a large green corridor project in India to capitalize on India’s target to produce and integrate 450 GW of renewable energy by 2030.

-Encourage joint investments of Indian and Italian companies in energy transition-related fields.

Source: This post is based on the article “Joint Statement on Italy-India Strategic Partnership in Energy Transition published in “PIB” on 31st October 2021.

National Commission For Women Launches Pan-India Legal Awareness Programme For Women In Collaboration With NALSA

What is the News?

National Commission for Women (NCW) along with National Legal Services Authority (NALSA) has launched a pan-India Legal Awareness Program for Women titled “Empowerment of Women through Legal Awareness”.

What are the objectives of the Program?

To hold regular sessions to impart practical knowledge to women about legal rights and remedies provided under various women related laws.

To make women aware of the various machineries of the justice delivery system available for redressal of their grievances.

To sensitise women and girls about their rights as provided under the various laws including the  Indian Penal Code.

To make women aware of the procedure of approaching and utilising various channels available for the redressal of grievances, such as police, judiciary and executive. 

Significance of this program

The program will make women fit to face the challenges in real-life situations. It would also help in promoting women empowerment.

Source: This post is based on the article National Commission For Women Launches Pan-India Legal Awareness Programme For Women In Collaboration With NALSApublished in PIB on 31st October 2021.

‘Informal sector shrank sharply in 2020-21’

What is the News?

State Bank of India’s(SBI) economic research department has released the Ecowrap Report.

What are the key findings of the Ecowrap Report?
Source: The Hindu

Formalisation of Economy

India’s informal economy has reduced by around 15-20% of the formal GDP in 2020-21, compared to 52% in 2017-18. This signals a greater shift towards the formalisation of the economy.

Reasons for the formalisation: Adoption of GST, Enhanced digitalisation and Demonetisation.

Impact of Pandemic on Informal Sector

Around 93% of India’s workforce is part of the informal economy (NSSO 2014). Hence, the impact of the pandemic was felt more by the informal sector.

Moreover, while the formal sector is now back to pre-pandemic levels, the informal sector continues to struggle.

Note: Informal Sector consists of “own-account” or unorganised enterprises employing hired workers. The highest share of the informal sector is in agriculture, where holdings of small and fragmented farmers are highest.

Must read: India’s informal economy: Challenges and solutions – Explained, pointwise

Source: This post is based on the following articles

  • “Informal sector shrank sharply in 2020-21” published in The Hindu on 1st November 2021.
  • “In three years, the informal economy dropped to 15-20% from 52%, says SBI report” published in Indian Express on 1st November 2021.

Semiconductor crunch: Govt plans mega package to woo investments

What is the news?

India will roll out a mega multi-billion-dollar capital support and production-linked incentive plan to push the manufacturing of semiconductors.

About the production-linked incentive plan

The ambitious plan is being coordinated and monitored closely by the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) and multi-ministries have joined the process.

The government recently had a high-level meeting on the matter attended by Telecom and IT minister, Principal Scientific Adviser, and others.

About semiconductors

India imports almost all semiconductors to meet demand estimated to reach around $100 billion by 2025 from about $24 billion now.

Previous efforts to improve the semiconductor industry had failed due to lack of heavy investments required in the manufacturing as well as the lack of uninterrupted clean water and electricity

Read more: Semiconductors: Why India should not make chips – Instead, the focus should be on other parts of the global value chain
What are the opportunities for India?

‘China plus 1’ policy of companies: Many global companies are deciding to have a diverse supply chain for semiconductors and are investing in countries other than China to reduce their risk. This presents investment opportunities for India.

Domestic demand: The government expects domestic production of electronics to move up to $350-400 billion by 2025, against the estimated $75 billion now.

Must read: Need of Indigenous Semiconductor Manufacturing Facilities in India – Explained Pointwise

Source: This post is based on the article “Semiconductor crunch: Govt plans mega package to woo investments” published in The Times of India on 1st November 2021.

Suicides rose to all-time high in 2020, daily wagers made up greatest share

What is the news?

The National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) has released the Accidental Deaths and Suicides report 2020.

About the Accidental Deaths and Suicides report 2020

The report divides suicides into nine categories — apart from daily wagers, housewives and people working in the farm sector, etc, The NCRB omitted a chapter on Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) in the 2020 edition of its Accidental Deaths and Suicides report.

What are the key findings of the report?


Report on Suicides: Suicides in India rose 10% from 2019 to an all-time high of 1,53,052 in the pandemic year of 2020.

The share of daily wage earners among those who died by suicide has doubled between 2014 and 2020.

The number of agricultural labourers who died by suicide in 2020 was 18% higher than the previous year. However, suicides among landowning farmers dropped slightly during the pandemic year.

Worst States: The worst among States continues to be Maharashtra. The other states include Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh.

Report on Accidents: The data shows that the number of accidental deaths came down to 3,74, 397 in 2020 from 4,21,014 in 2019– a decline of 12.47%. This is the lowest since 2010. The rate of accidental death (accidental death per lakh) has also come down this year.

Must Read: The issue of Road Safety in India – Explained pointwise

Source: This post is based on the article following articles

  • “Suicides among farm workers rose 18% in 2020” published in The Hindu on 29th October 2021.
  • “Suicides rose to all-time high in 2020, daily wagers made up greatest share” published in Indian Express on 30th October 2021.


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